Why Is Family Important to Christians?
Family is important to Christians because family is about witnessing to the Lord’s faithful love for the Church and for the whole of humanity; family is about making present, in a concrete and daily manner, the reciprocity and beauty of the love that characterises God’s life. Family is a rich school where we learn to be humane and generous, to be patient and steadfast, to be just and merciful, to be faithful and committed, to be together and to connect.
Single parented or mother-father; childless or fertile; in big cities or in the countryside; in harmony or in conflict/domestic violence; in home country or refugees; at peace or at war, married or cohabitating, separated or remarried; healthy or in illness/addiction, free or in prison, in a house or homeless, able or disabled, working locally or away from home, with or without pets; whatever the family… all families are precious in the eyes of God.
The Catholic Church believes that the best form of family, both for the couple itself and for children to grow up in, is a one man-one woman permanent relationship in the sacrament of marriage, where each lives for the other and receives the other in a dynamic of reciprocal love. Other forms of family , including cohabiting or civilly married couples, separated, divorced and not remarried, divorced and remarried and single-parent families and unions between gay persons , are accompanied gently and respectfully by the Church. New ways of dialogue and pastoral attention are currently being explored in these areas where the Church, guided by tenderness and compassion learns to accompany different persons in different family situations to make all feel included and welcome, even if they feel misunderstood and abandoned in their own family, as they seek to follow the Lord.
– The Christian Family in the Modern World – A letter written by Saint Pope John Paul 2nd to the clergy and faithful of the Catholic Church in 1981.
– Blended Families – Resources than help prevent re-divorce and help strengthen stepfamilies. “On the Church – Cardinal Walter Kasper speaks about family concerns guided “not from abstract reasoning but from pastoral care.
– “To Live Without Fear , Statement by the Canadian bishops on Violence Against Women.
– Coping With Marriage Breakdown – Anna’s Experience